Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

Save Forests and Save Birds

Ancient Boreal forests are being cut down for 
Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Catalogs!

SHOP SMART- SAVE BIRDShttp://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asphttp://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.aspshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1
City Island Birds
Since 2007

Birding Advocacy

More than 80,000 people have viewed this page.

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.

Photos and Results of Our Past Walks
2007- 2010

Winter Bird Walk- January 9
First Spring Walk- April 17
Easter Walk- April 24
Split Rock-Mother’s Day Walk- May 7 
Turtle Cove “Watch”- June 26
Raptor and Waterfowl Walk- Nov. 27
Owl Walk- March 24
Owlet Walk April 15, 2012
Spring “Migration Madness” Walk- May 6
Clapper Rail Walk- May 27   
Fall Migration Walk- Sept. 23, 2012
Migration Walk- October 14, 2012
Last Minute Barred Owl Walk- Dec. 9, 2012
Bronx Brooklyn Walk- January 12
Spring Migration Walk- May 5
Three Club Walk-  August 24
Fall Migration Walk 2013
Owlet Walk- April 13, 2014
Spring Migration Walk 2014Previous_Birdwalks.htmlWinter_Bird_Walk.htmlEarly_Spring_Migration_Walk.htmlEaster_Walk.htmlSplit_Rock-_Mothers_Day_Walk.htmlTurtle_Cove_%22Watch%22.htmlRaptor_and_Waterfowl_Walk.htmlOwl_Walk.htmlOwlet_Walk.htmlMigration_Madness.htmlClapper_Rail_walk.htmlFall_Migration_Walk.htmlFall_Migration_2012.htmlbarred_Owl_Walk.htmlBronx_Brooklyn_Walk.htmlSpring_Migration_2013.htmlThree_Club_Walk.htmlFall_Migration_2013.htmlOwlet_Walk_2014.htmlSpring_Migration_2014.htmlshapeimage_8_link_0shapeimage_8_link_1shapeimage_8_link_2shapeimage_8_link_3shapeimage_8_link_4shapeimage_8_link_5shapeimage_8_link_6shapeimage_8_link_7shapeimage_8_link_8shapeimage_8_link_9shapeimage_8_link_10shapeimage_8_link_11shapeimage_8_link_12shapeimage_8_link_13shapeimage_8_link_14shapeimage_8_link_15shapeimage_8_link_16shapeimage_8_link_17shapeimage_8_link_18shapeimage_8_link_19


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


City Island?http://forgotten-ny.com/2000/05/city-island/
Pelham Bay Park Maphttp://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/vt_pelham_bay_park/images/Pelham%20map-rev2005.pdf
City Island Communityhttp://www.cityisland.com
Directions Herehttp://www.cityisland.com/directions.html
City Island Birding ClubCIB_Club.html
The Kazimiroff Nature Trail of Hunter Island
You may have noticed the new signs posted along the paths on Hunter island. The numbers correlate to different features of the “Island.” If you link below, you can find out what each sign post means. Dr. Kazimiroff was a noted Bronx naturalist. The trail marked in his honor winds through the largest and most natural of all of NYC parks. This area was once hunting and fishing grounds and the site of huge mansions. To find out more, print and bring the guide with you on your next walk. Kazimiroff Trail.pdf


A female Bobolink, taken not far from the Turtle Cove Bridge a couple of years ago. I’m hoping we’ll see some this fall. I’ve been told they were fairly reliable in the southern zone in the 1980’s.

If you park at the Turtle Cove Driving range and walk the trail along the fence, you will eventually come to trail on your right. Follow that trail but walk quietly and slowly when you get to the planks on the ground. There’s a tree laden with berries that the Cedar Waxwings love.

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

Indigo Buntings are also along the wood chip trail past the Turtle Cove Bridge. This is a male during spring.

This most likely a female Yellow-rumped warbler, photographed one October. This species can be hard to age and sex.

If you walk up to the sign, you can see that a whole lot of work is being done in the southern zone of the park. The shoreline is not accessible and there’s a double fence around the area. I’m hoping that no new roads or paths will be constructed and the area will remain “Forever Wild”

This is Mile-a Minute Weed. It’s a terrible invasive that grows fast and smothers everything in its path. It’s extremely difficult to eradicate. It has been taking hold at Turtle Cove, beyond the bridge, in several locations.

Yellow-rumped Warblers will be here soon enough. This male is still in breeding plumage.

All photos and text by Jack Rothman
All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.

Copyright 2014

Updated 9/3/14

The Fall Migration Picks up Steam!

I’m writing this on September 3, summer’s unofficially over. It’s a hot and humid day, different from the rest of this fantastic August, a relatively cool and dry month. I can’t remember a better August weather wise. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been out at Turtle Cove almost daily and little has changed from the summer species. With northwest winds starting to push, we should begin to see some migration soon. Prospect Park and other areas further inland have reported a nice variety of migrants. I was there last Thursday and we had more than forty species. Here in Pelham Bay Park, we need strong NW winds to push the birds to our coast.

I’m waiting for some more activity and then we should begin having some walks. In the meantime, send me an email if you want to meet one morning, as I’m often out early checking for species.

One good thing about the end of summer, is that free parking returns to Orchard Beach.

In other news, the southern zone of the park is currently being restored. If you walk over, you’ll see construction vehicles, fences and signs. I’m hoping that everything will be done to keep the area wild and that roads will not be passing through meadows or forests.

I haven’t seen any Palm Warblers yet, they should be arriving very soon as they’re fairly common here.

One is a Willow Flycatcher and the other an Eastern Wood PeeWee. Both birds are around now in the park. The PeeWee is on the right. Identifying them from a distance can be confusing.